GESMN participant testifies

Read how Ahmed helped us advocate to increase funding for training and education for high-demand, well-paying careers.

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota participant testifies in legislative committee hearing

2016-03-25 09:16:00
Photo of Ahmed with State Representative Tim Mahoney, author of the Career Pathways bill.

Ahmed with State Representative Tim Mahoney, author of the Career Pathways bill.


Photo of Ahmed Ali testifying in the Minnesota House Job Growth Committee on a career pathways bill (HF2716).

Ahmed Ali testifying in the Minnesota House Job Growth Committee on a career pathways bill (HF2716).

Ahmed spoke on behalf of a career pathways bill that would increase funding so that more Minnesotans can get the training and education needed to obtain high-demand, well-paying careers.

Earlier this week, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota was privileged to have one of our participants, Ahmed Ali, testify in the Minnesota House Job Growth Committee on a career pathways bill (HF2716). This bill would increase funding and help more Minnesotans receive the training and education needed to obtain high-demand, well-paying careers.

Ahmed is now a full-time student at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC), pursuing an Associate’s degree while also working part-time in the automotive industry. However, the story he shared with the Job Growth Committee was about the unsuccessful experience he had at his first post-secondary institution, and how Goodwill-Easter Seals helped him not only become better prepared for post-secondary education, but also helped give him some important job skills.

It was through the Pathways to Prosperity program, offered in partnership between Goodwill-Easter Seals and DCTC, that Ahmed was able to obtain the support he needed for both academic and employment success. While in the program, Ahmed completed an automotive certificate that provides a “stackable” credential he could carry with him. Thanks to the help he received from his Goodwill-Easter Seals’ College & Career Navigator he was able to better understand the American post-secondary system, while an Adult Basic Education (ABE) teacher helped with math and English skills.

Community-based organizations are critical partners in career pathways work. We are reaching populations who would otherwise not see higher education as an option for themselves. With short-term training and industry-recognized credentials, community-based organizations offer points of entry for low-income individuals who need a job while they pursue an education. These stackable credentials make a huge difference in earning potential down the road. In the Goodwill-Easter Seals transportation industry pathway, participant income doubled from pre- to post-training.

We also offer the critical wraparound supports needed for individuals to succeed in higher education. Nonprofits are the “glue” that help low-income participants enroll in and complete training and then go on to post-secondary.

These training programs are employer-driven and employer-advised. As nonprofits, we are responding directly to employer needs – with employers serving on Business Advisory Councils and helping to shape curriculum.

With additional Pathways to Prosperity funding, community-based organizations like Goodwill-Easter Seals would be able to serve additional individuals and help to prepare them for the jobs Minnesota employers are looking to fill.